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October 2023 Publisher's View


By Herb Carpenter


According the U.S. Small Business Administration a “small” business is one with fewer than 500 employees. By that definition over 99 percent of America’s 28.7 million firms are small businesses and that percentage holds true here in the North Country.

In this issue of Strictly Business, we bring you a variety of small businesses that captured our imagination. Our cover article features Susan Patnode and Tails of the Adirondacks. You can buy pet food and supplies at grocery and big box stores anywhere, but if you are looking for high quality foods, the best nutritional guidance from a knowledgeable staff and the biggest selection of pet toys and treats you’ve ever seen, you need to check out Tails.

Whether you are a beer drinker or not, you can’t help but be impressed with the success story of Paradox Brewery in North Hudson. From a small set up in a garage, to a facility that is turning out the equivalent of 1.6 million 12-ounce cans of pure Adirondack beer a year, Paul and Joan Mrocka and staff are making it happen. Leaf-peeping season would be a great time to take a trip to enjoy one of their unique beers and admire the beautiful foliage from their restaurant deck.

When Scott Hite retired from the New York State Police he looked forward to his free time, but after a few years he was looking for a challenge. He found it in the small retail plaza in the center of Peru, New York. First Scott and his wife Mary Ann bought the town liquor store, then the car wash and recently the laundromat. Their three Livations businesses have generated excitement in the village and are offering new services.

A general store, complete with a beer cave, in a former church?? That’s what you will find at the Black Brook General Store in the town of AuSable Forks. The Timmons family saw an opportunity and converted the 150+ year old building during the COVID shutdown to what has become a gathering place for area residents and visitors.

Taxes are not something anyone enjoys thinking about, but Lisa and John Wheeler view them as an opportunity. Their Jackson Hewitt franchise offers tax, accounting and financial services from offices at Walmart and a store front on Smithfield Boulevard in the Town of Plattsburgh.

Cache Elegant, a consignment boutique in downtown Plattsburgh, offers unique clothing, gifts and home goods. Owner Barbara Hugus is one of a kind, offering carefully selected merchandise and a level of customer service that makes shopping with her an experience.

And then there is our Insight article featuring Brian Monette, one of three brothers and their families who have developed more than 30 businesses in the Malone area – including Titus Mountain Ski Center. Brian’s love of his hometown and his desire to make it a place that can retain the area’s youth is an inspiration.

Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at the North Country Chamber of Commerce, wraps up this issue of Strictly Business with a look at the Chamber’s 2024 plans to attract more visitors to the area and support businesses large and small. The Chamber’s work and its impact on our economy and our quality of life is the foundation of the community.

…and that’s good for business.

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